5 Practical Tips for Attending HR Tech 2016

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HR professionals making their way to Chicago the first week of October will have the opportunity to face their fear of heights at the top of the Willis Tower, reward themselves with a piece of pie from the original Pizzeria Uno, and tour the latest human resources innovations at the 19th Annual HR Tech Conference. After the conference, these professionals will be able to take home new found courage, a couple of extra pounds, and cost-cutting solutions to the most daunting human resource challenges. The human resources department is all too often downplayed as the bureaucratic, paper-pushing office in the company but any good HR professional knows that their value is in maximizing the company’s ROI of each employee. If you’re attending this conference, you’re probably looking forward to the expo of tech companies ready to help you do just that. Take these practical tips with you to make the best choices and make the most of the conference.

1. You’re going to be overwhelmed.

Prepare yourself: when you walk in the HR Tech Expo you are going to be overwhelmed. There are more than 400 companies exhibiting their technology and they all want your business. On top of the 400 companies, each one will have multiple products to sell you, each product will have a list of features and each feature will have its list of benefits. If every company exhibiting only had two products and each product only had two features and each feature had only two listed benefits – that would still be 6,000 points of information to digest (we’re being modest here) and that is before prices have been taken into consideration! Know ahead of time that HR Tech is the world’s largest gathering of tech companies with a vested interest in making you better at your job.

2. Stay focused on what fits your company.

Navigating through the maze of tech exhibitors takes more than a map – you’ll need focus. Your company is unique and deserves tailored solutions. Look for exhibitors that are ready to hear your needs and can show you how their technology is designed for you. But before they can speak to your company’s profile, you need to be able to articulate the elements of your company that make it unique. Take some time to think through what characteristics are essential for exhibitors to understand your company culture. Customization and personalization is the standard in high tech. One-size-fits-all is a myth and actually means one-size-fits-most or, even worse, one-size-unremarkably-fits-all. Don’t waste your time with pitches that claim they have a blanket solution that can be applied to, and affects, everyone the same. If you’re able to stay focused, you’ll be able to find tech solutions that are the most effective in your workplace which is a testament to your skill and professionalism.

3. Keep your challenges in mind.

It makes perfect sense why HR Tech has been continuously growing: given that HR can encompass an astronomical number of objectives there are sure to be more and more innovations to help you achieve your goals. The key is to keep in mind the challenges you face in getting there. For some companies, the challenge may be in keeping up with the necessary processes of record keeping, compliance, and compensation. The issue could be that the company is global and faces different sets of laws and language barriers or the issue could be that a once very small startup is experiencing rapid growth and needs solutions to onboard new employees as fast as possible. Other companies may be finding it difficult to fill open positions or keep positions filled. These are two very different problems that require different solutions. Or maybe the systems already set in place are working well for the problems mentioned, but company morale and productivity is low. While it might be tempting to bring home a plan to implement technology and improve every possible aspect of HR responsibility – limited resources and resistance to change will stifle your effectiveness. The best way to approach the conference is to find solutions that will fix existing problems or challenges. Or as the saying goes “Don’t fix what isn’t broken.” challenges-1

4. Remember adoption is the most important battle.

You want your employees to spend their time at work doing what they were hired to do, not learning new software. In an ideal world, employees would be able to use new software without any training or learning curve. Unfortunately, tech companies often focus on what their solution is and why it’s significant without ever asking how it will be adopted. Imagine setting up a comprehensive HR solution to handle everything from recruitment to talent management and all the administration processes in between. Your shiny new system is capable of handling all the paperwork digitally and even give you analytics to gain insights and fix inefficiencies. …but all your employees continue to hand in hard copy time-off requests and your analytics show none of your managers logged in more than once. What a waste! New systems need to be learned and it’s your job to ask how a system will be adopted as you evaluate what tech solutions are right for you. Fail to do this and you’re risking the success of the entire project. This is where WalkMe come in. WalkMe helps with software adoption and employee onboarding. If you’re at the conference, you can visit us at booth #448. If not you can claim your free proof of concept here.

5. Be happy with your results.

When you have chosen the right technology, seen through its implementation and are experiencing positive results – be happy! This, of course, is an extension of the HR Tech conference which occurs much later. But it’s an important step in the process. If you have carefully examined your choices to find the best solutions to the biggest challenges and are seeing results – you deserve a sense of satisfaction! If done your job right you have saved your company money and made your employees happier in the process.

Attending HR Tech? Visit WalkMe at booth #448. Can’t make it? Claim your free POC here!

Jason is the Lead Author & Editor of TrainingStation Blog. Jason established the Training Station blog to create a source for news and discussion about some of the issues, challenges, news, and ideas relating to training, learning and development.